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New Target App to Make Shopping a Snap

In Target’s latest effort to build its omnichannel capabilities, the retailer launched a new shopping app called, In a Snap, and is betting on print advertising to help boost its online sales.

Compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod, the app enables Target shoppers to flip through magazines, catalogs and print ads, snap an image of a Target product using their device’s camera and then immediately search for that item online or in store. It gets its name from the snapping sound the app makes when it recognizes a product.

Target launched the app to coincide with its Room Essential ad campaign, which runs in the July issues of Real Simple, Architectural Digest, Domino and more. The app is also being tested with the retailer’s popular back-to-college catalog, and with store signage in the new Target Express store in Minneapolis. Depending on user feedback, the retailer may extend the use of the app to future campaigns.

In a Snap was developed by Target’s marketing team and Rapid Accelerated Development (RAD) technology team. It’s just one of the latest product recognition technologies to emerge in the retail world.

In June, online-giant Amazon generated buzz with the unveiling of its first smartphone, the Fire, which features exclusive Firefly image recognition technology that can search for products on the e-tailer’s site. Unlike Amazon’s technology, which can identify physical products in stores and through signage and text, Target’s In a Snap is limited to Target’s stock and promotional print campaigns.